Category: neal

Church-State Separation: One More Reason to Vote

I think most of you know that I am active in a DC advocacy organization called Americans United for Separation of Church & State (AU). Representing more than 300,000 supporters in all 50 states, including people of all religions and no religion, AU believes that … read more.

Grateful Moments

A pandemic with no end in sight. Unemployment and closed businesses at rates not seen since the Great Depression. Uncivil civil discourse from so-called leaders. Social isolation and its accompanying depression, anxiety, and addictions. These are indeed dark times. And yet. A phone call from … read more.

Summer Plans Unmade and Remade

Beginning July 1, I will take my annual vacation and study leave during the months of July and August. As is the case with almost every other person on the planet, most of my plans for the summer have been upended by the pandemic, beginning … read more.

We’re All in the Same Boat Now…Or Maybe Not

In some conversations since this pandemic began, I have caught myself saying, “Well, we’re all in the same boat now.” But the piece below from an anonymous writer has made me stop saying this. It has reminded me of what should be obvious—that none of us experience … read more.

A Larger Sense of Self

In a sermon recently, I spoke about different ways we may understand ourselves as a person. The smallest definition of self is made up purely of ego. This definition is essentially self-centeredness, seeing oneself as a separate, individualistic entity. That’s the kind of self that is encouraged … read more.

Be a Helper

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our church life and our personal lives. Many of our plans for the next several weeks have been cancelled. Universities and schools have been cancelled. Conferences, concerts, performances, plays, and movies have been cancelled. Many of us will have to … read more.

Sermons on Change

We UUs refer to ourselves as a “liberal religion.” What is the distinction between a liberal and a conservative religion? At the risk of painting with an overly simplistic broad brush, I’d say that religious conservatives are primarily interested in maintaining certain traditions, while religious … read more.

Social Action This Year

Thanks mainly to the dedication of Lisa Jochum, our social action at MLUC over the past couple of years has focused mainly on antiracism work in book discussions, screening films, hosting Jubilee workshops, and teaching Beloved Conversations classes. This year, however, we are expanding our … read more.

Grateful Faces

Whenever I ask someone these days, “How are you?” the answer is almost always the same: “I’m too busy!” There’s no question that this is a particularly busy time of the year, but busy seems to be the best description of our lives throughout the … read more.